Puppy's 1st heat cycle
I have a 6.5 month old BLF. I expect that any time in the next few months she could go into her 1st heat cycle. I don't have alot of experience with this so I'm looking for some advice. From some research I have done, I understand the 1st cycle starts between 6-12 months of age, it will last 21 days, happens every 4-6 months after that and they can only get pregnant during a 4-5 day fertile period within the cycle.
So I definitely do not want her to get pregnant. Vet said if I am going to spay to wait until after the 1st heat cycle. She lives mostly outside in a fenced yard (understand that may not be enough). What do you do to keep your females from getting pregnant? Keep locked up for 21 days? Its summer and we have a couple camping trips she will come on with us and I'm not sure what the best way to keep my little girl a virgin is .
Well, she may not come into heat until she is a year old. I tell my puppy buyers not to spay until the pup is at least 12-14 months old because this is when they are physically mature. If you spay too early, you can affect how she grows.
Yes if she lives in a fenced yard, you will need to keep her locked up for the whole heat cycle, which could be up to 28 days. It is messy too, so taking her camping while she is in heat will be messy and crazy because you can attract male dogs from all over the place. If I were you and she came into heat before heading off on one of your trips, I would board her with your veterinarian until your trip is over, then keep her under wraps at home. Most boarding kennels will not take a bitch in heat for liability reasons.
For your camping trips, you can buy the panties and pad for the females in heat. Helps with the mess. My girl is in the house all the time so I do not have to worry but keeping if you are keeping her outside, you will need to lock her up.
She may not come into season until after 18 mos too. Just keep an eye on her vulva, and when it starts to swell, keep an even closer eye on it. Go buy some chlorophyll from the health food store as that will help w/ knocking down the odor, but yes, be sure to keep her confined once in and don't get tricked at ~10-14 days when you don't see red... she's likely going to be at her peak breeding at that point.
I think the biggest thing for someone new to female dogs is to know that they cycle very differently than humans. If humans don't get pregnant hormones that would maintain pregnancy drop right off. The canine hormone cycle is the same whether pregnancy is achieved or not. That is why false pregnancies are so common.The age of first cycle does vary greatly, as the above postings reflect, with very fit atheletic ones generally coming in later in my limited experience. Your girl is most at risk once the bleeding stops, but hard to predict exactly when she ovulates just by appearances. So best to "protect" her during entire cycle. Also, she will not be her usual self emotionally. Mine was so confused the very first time, she had no idea what was wrong with herself and moped around looking quite pitiful. She still gets clingy and needy, then kinda "spacey" for a while. They all differ some, but this seems average. About 3 months later she will "blow her coat" and may look quite awful. I think 6-7 months between cycles is more norm than 4 mos. Goodluck, if you can wait till she is at least 12 months before spaying you will see the most normal skeletal growth possible.
Last edited by dogluvah; 05-30-2014 at 06:06 AM.